While that question is quite easy to answer, most companies, including their recruiters, HR professionals, sales leaders and executives are guilty of some or in some cases all of these five mistakes:
1. Their job posting fails.
Most sales job postings all read the same. "Join this great job in a great company with great opportunities and great benefits, blah, blah, blah." Even if you are using the most accurate and predictive sales candidate assessment in the world, it won't help t all if your job posting lures the wrong candidates into the pool. Minus all the "blah, blah" and instead work on describing the candidate along with the experiences you hope they had and the capabilities they must have to succeed in your role.
2. Waiting too long to assess candidates.
How will you know how you feel about the candidate if you don’t assess them first? If you wait to assess until after you have interviewed, you won't embrace the findings and recommendation, which will help to steer the interview forward. Imagine if you had already fallen in love with the candidate only to have the “Not Recommended” result show up too late. Which can result in you ignoring the assessment resulting in a hiring mistake you’ll have to deal with in the future. Assess every candidate immediately after you receive their application and then you won’t accidentally ignore a candidate whose resume suggests a bad fit but whose assessment scores suggest a competent salesperson for the role.
3. The interview process isn’t thorough enough.
Conducting a long interview doesn’t guarantee you’ll get all the answers you seek. Dig a little deeper to separate fact from fiction. Here are the top 4 examples of claims that sound wonderful but turn out to be phoney when you learn about the all-important context (in parentheses) for the claim:
1. Top salesperson (out of 2)
2. Grew annual sales in territory by 200% (from $40,000 to $120,000)
3. Doubled size of the territory in the first year (closed one big deal that was in the pipeline when they arrived)
4. Uses words like initiated, developed, created, led or built-in reference to sales programs (didn’t sell anything).
4. The on-boarding process is a mess!
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking, "The recruit was recommended using the best assessment, so they will know what to do." Wrong! Every new salesperson deserves proper on-boarding, no matter the result of assessments so that you can prepare them for success instead of setting them up for failure.
5. They don't set expectations.
Holding the new salesperson responsible for expectations in the first 90 days and coaching to those expectations is the way to ensure success.
These five mistakes are easy to correct, and then companies will experience far greater success and consistency with their new sales hires. In most cases, the only thing preventing companies from making these changes is the self-limiting belief that "We've always done it this way."